16. November 2009 · Comments Off on It Can Happen Any Time · Categories: Ramble

I’m a musician. I’ve been a musician for years. I’ve been a professional musician since 1975. That’s a long time — longer than some readers have been alive!

And still I can sometimes have doubts and fears. This should come as no surprise to anyone in this business; nearly all of us experience this at times.

What non-performers may not know is how this can hit at any time. Any where.

As I was sitting in the pit yesterday, playing the opera, I thought, ‘WHAT am I doing here?! Who ever thought I knew how to play oboe?” And of course I’m thinking this as I’m playing my part. Go figure. That voice … silly silly voice … suddenly thinks, “I don’t know how to finger this note!” or “Have I ever seen this part before?” It’s a mean little voice, really. Nix the “silly”.

Ah well.

We just deal with this kind of thing. I know the voice can be heard at the most random moments, but I just carry on and figure it’ll get weaker as I play. At the same time, I wonder if one day I’ll yell out, “I can’t take it any more!” We’ll see.

(This is why, by the way, we need to practice until the fingers just go on, no matter the negative voices or brain freeze that happens.)

When I was at the Imani concert the horn player gave a pre-concert talk. Toward the end he said something that cracked me up. He said that he has this idea … that when he knew he was going to retire he would just let out the most obnoxious and horrible horn sound and then exit the stage. Oh how many of us think we just might someday yell out, “I’m OUTA here!” and exit stage left. Or … okay fine … stage right if you feel like it! 🙂

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